Many years ago when I worked in the brand new Australian office of a global PR/marcoms firm, I learned one of my greatest lessons in how to succeed in business.
The then managing director, a friend, had brought me on board as a freelancer to help her through a rough time. Although, she’d been building the business for a couple of years, things were slower than she’d have liked and she was getting tired – anyone who’s run a business knows they can do that to you!!
I’d just gotten settled, we’d started to pitch some good stuff and then out of the blue, without a second’s notice – she left – we were all rather shocked. And as the most senior person on the team, I ended up holding the proverbial baby – business baby that was.
Almost as soon as she left, business started to come through the door. Not because my friend left, but because of the earlier work she/we’d done and the time clients needed to move through their buying cycles had ticked past.
In other words she’d left us too early in the game. Although I went on to become General Manager and later Managing Director (ie: it was great for my career), I often felt sad that my friend never got to experience the business success she deserved (not in that role anyway).
But the lesson has remained with me. Business success only comes to those who stay the course. And success always has a gestation period. Even for the so called ‘overnight’ successes.
These days I talk with business owners and CEOs – many of whom are hitting their 2-3 year mark in their business. They’re tired and they’re wanting to achieve the dream they had when they started – but it’s not there yet – often nowhere near it.
By all means look forward at the larger goal. But don’t let the distance you are from that, cloud your view of how far you’ve come, what you’ve achieved and what you’ve built along the way.
Building a business is a journey of a million tiny steps, some forward, some sideways and some back a bit. Your job is to find the best path on which to take that journey. But keep going. Sometimes when you feel like chucking in the towel, what you really need is a holiday and some perspective. By all means do that.
But keep going. Do whatever it takes to build the momentum you need for things to start really rolling.
Of course you also have to do the work. It wasn’t all beer and skittles when the work started to come in. We had to knuckle down and get it done (sometimes – a lot actually – up to 80 hours a week), we had to keep pitching for new work, going out meeting people, running marketing campaigns, etc. We had to maintain the momentum my friend had begun – but it’s easier to keep it going than it is to get the boulder that a newish business is to move in the first place.
I owe my friend a great debt of gratitude. Aside from running my own business – working in that PR/Marcoms firm was the best fun/greatest experience I’ve ever had. We had great clients, a great team – here and internationally – from whom I learned so much (special thanks to Amy, Jane and Jean-Michel who kept me sane when things got crazy) and I was blessed to work with THE best boss ever (thanks Louise H).
If we can help you stay the course to business success, by helping you get you clear on your marketing strategy, branding or website, we’d be delighted to help.
You can call us on (02) 9994 8005 or send us an email .